deborah odell

On 24 September, 1984, Norell Sanders was at home with her one-year-old daughter, Deborah, when Deborah’s father and Norell’s estranged boyfriend, Odell Sheppard showed up to the apartment and began to argue with Norell. Odell grabbed Deborah and fled from the apartment. Weeks later, he called Norell and said he would return Deborah for $2,000, money which Norell did not have. The police were not sure how to respond as the couple had not been married and therefore it was unclear as to who had legal custody of the little girl. It was reported that Odell took Deborah to a family funeral in Memphis and this was the last reported sighting on the girl. The following year, Odell was finally apprehended and charged with child abduction. He claimed he was innocent and had given Deborah back to her mother. He served one year in prison and was then ordered to bring Deborah to court, which he failed to do. He was arrested and sentenced for civil contempt and served ten years in prison. He refused to reveal what had happened to the girl. He was released in 1998 after serving the longest sentence for civil contempt. Deborah has never been found and what happened to her remains a mystery.